Thursday, December 3, 2009

My neglected blog

Because I have been doing my primary blogging on Conceive, this poor blog has been neglected. In fact, I am absolutely ashamed of myself that I didn't at least come in last Friday and type those three awful initials: BFN.

How am I a week later? Better than I expected. Evidently my strategy of not falling into doom and gloom seems to work. It also helps that my friends are following my advice and not really talking about it. Because the moment I do start to talk about it, my voice begins to crack and the tears come to the surface. Now, I know denial isn't always your best strategy, but I am okay with that for now.

After taking essentially five months off to focus on improving my fertility, I am now working again. Given that we have no infertility insurance coverage, there was just a limit to how long I could go without working. Unfortunately, I think I will need to work a few months before I can even consider another round of treatment. In a time where many people are suffering from having no health insurance, I know I should feel lucky that I have health insurance. If I got pregnant, there would be plenty of coverage. But, I did not choose infertility. Infertility is not an elective disease--it baffles me on how insurance companies continue to get away with not providing coverage. Or, is it more that companies are to blame? Neither my former company or my husband's current company think it is a benefit worth including. I never thought that I would be one of those people who spent a $100,000 to have a baby. But, we are halfway there and, obviously, unless there is a miracle occurring in my womb in the next six months.... that home equity loan is going to be looking very attractive. Has anybody been following how infertility will fare in the proposed health care plans?

After a very long working day, I am going to call it a night. My next post, however, will talk about my exciting blog award that my TTC friends have bestowed upon me.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


The 2WW continues to suck. I second guess every possible creak, squeak and leak of my body. Am I tired tonight because my body is working for two now? Was the spotting today the mythical implantation spotting?

I am trying to get the courage tomorrow to POAS [pee on a stick]. I really want to know, but at the same time it is nice to live in lala land.

Is it Friday yet? I am ready to make my next set of plans. And, I am ready to live without hockey and cocktails.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

2WW is on!

Here they are. All that time, all that money. And, hopefully, worth every penny. What you are looking at above is a full forward hockey line. Though, realistically, it is still going to be a miracle if we get a left winger out of the bunch. [Need a left winger, since I play right and hubby plays center].

The best embryo is the one up at the top. It is seven cell with minimal fragmentation. The second one has seven cells but more fragmentation and the last one is only five cells--the runt of the litter.

I am now resting and trying to coax the little guys to find a nice home in my uterus, where I promise to love and nurture them for the next 9 months.

The full details on my IVF process should be up on Conceive in the next day or so.

Thanks again to everyone who has just been the greatest cheerleaders during this process.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Latest Update

I went back for another u/s today and they changed the game plan slightly based on today's statistics

Left: 20.5, 16.5, 14, 10.5

Right: 13,12.5, 12

Lining 7.1

There's a 5% risk that the big follicle could ovulate before 1030 on Friday, but we are going to take that chance. By the time we are done, I will have been on stimulation medications for 14 days. There will have been a total of 61 shots--most of which have been given by super trooper husband.

New schedule:

Trigger Wed night

Retrieval 1130am on Friday

Transfer 11/16 Monday if all goes well

Keep your thoughts focused on the underdogs catching up and the lead dog staying put until Friday!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A week later...and on track

It's amazing what a week can bring. After Monday's horrible ultrasound, things started to pick up. We went back today and here's what we have:

Left side, there are 4 follicles {16.5,11,9,6} The sixth is probably worthless, but still nice to see that they are coming up.

Right side, there are 3 follicles all in the 9mm range.

The trick now is to grow the rest without the big one getting too big, or else they will all release before the doctor has a chance to retrieve them.

Current schedule:

Final u/s on Tues 11/10
Trigger shot Tues night
Thurs Egg Retrieval 11/12
Transfer, most likely 11/15

Thanks for everyone's good vibes. They are definitely helping.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Tough Start

If you check out my Conceive blog, you'll get all the details about today's visit to Stanford.

I want to thank all my online buddies who have had lots of encouraging words today and have told me not to give up hope yet. We'll just have to see what the coming week will bring.

Trying hard to keep my chin up.

Monday, October 19, 2009

All Systems Go...

This morning we had our baseline ultrasound at Stanford. I thought this was to check for follicles, but this is actually to make sure that your ovaries are truly resting and getting ready for the next cycle.

The doctor saw one small cyst on each ovary, but they were nowhere near a size that he said we should be concerned about.

We opted to push my cycle out four days as I didn't want to deal with the hassle of taking the medications on the airplane, figuring out how to keep them cool, etc. Plus, what's the fun of a college reunion if you can't have at least one drink.

Our current tentative schedule is:

Start shots on 10/27
First stim u/s 11/2
Projected egg retrieval 11/8
Projected embryo transfer 11/11

All these dates, of course, are subject to change.

And, please visit my Conceive blog to hear me complain about no sex this week.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Two days until baseline

The hysteroscopy went fine on Thursday. For more details, check out my next Conceive blog posting.

On Monday morning we will get our baselines ultrasound. I am not expecting suddently having 10 resting antral follicles on each side, though if I had a total of 10 I'd be ecstatic.

If I was a betting woman, I think we are going to see four on each side. Eight total would make me happy. You then start doing the math...eight eggs, four fertilize, two are decent...then you have something to put back.

I am still struggling to get my head in this cycle. There is still too much going around me like remodeling the house, taking care of Grandma, looking for work. This weekend we are going to try and restore some order in the house where we can. I need for some area of my life to feel settled [besides my love life]. I suppose though it wouldn't be my life if it wasn't totally crazy like this.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Officially on the IVF path...

AF came yesterday. Even though I knew five days ago, there is still always the hope up until the very end that maybe this was the month.

I started the birth control pills yesterday....still is always odd to me that you use birth control pills to increase your fertility, but I trust that the doctors know best. I am now saying no to adult beverages....I can only hope it will be 12 months before I have another! I am trying to get back on the organic, good for you multi-grain diet, but that is tough. Nobody around me ever shares that desire and brings over yummy lemon rings with nothing but flour and sugar in them.

Still trying to keep my stress levels down. Grandma is now at a convalescent hospital, but she is on a very slow recovery path. My mom and I take turns going to visit her and keep her spirits up.

Tomorrow I will resume acupuncture. I am so looking forward to it. I truly believe I feel better when I get the acupuncture regularly.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Just come already....

If it's CD25, then it must be spotting time. Just once, I was hoping that I wouldn't see the familiar signs. Just one more time, I would get pregnant naturally and there would be no need for the upcoming IVF cycle. No such luck.

After I miscarried the first time, everybody told me, you'll get pregnant again. And there begins the many stories of successes. Next time it was after I had my HSG. That will clear out your tubes, you'll be pregnant in no time. After my failed IVF, there were the stories of women getting pregnant on the rebound. And, even during my IVF prep session, the nurse had the story of the couple who got pregnant while they were beginning their preparations.

I'll just say it. I am grumpy. I am tired and stressed out. This last week has been extremely trying with my grandmother. I have a UTI. At this point, I just want something in life to go a little easier.

I'm done with my self-pity rant.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Showing the Four Generations

In my Conceive blog this week, I talked about the 4 generation photo. I finally got a chance to scan it in. Love that hairdo and the styling leather jacket. This was also a time when my hair wasn't red yet.

If you didn't read the blog, you can check it out here

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Does Jetlag Change Your Cycle?

So, I don't know if it is day 16 or 17...seriously, if you take a long distance flight and you re-live another 12 hours, what happens to your cycle?

There were no POAS moments in Germany, so I can only guess whether or not I ovulated. The CM looked beautiful, so maybe that Bavarian water was good for me! We certainly optimized our chances, if you know what I mean... There just might have been a little tipsy post-Oktoberfest activities.

I did turn 42 while in Germany, so I am officially on the down hill slope of the infertility clinics. I just wish my eggs felt as young as I do. A few more birthday celebrations now that I am home, then I am going to focus on getting ready for the next IVF cycle with a lot of diet, exercise and acupuncture.

Friday, September 11, 2009

28 days....

Almost unheard of for me to be at 28 days, but today is officially CD 1 of my last unmedicated cycle. I didn't get acupuncture this month. I can tell the difference. Everything isn't "flowing" as well as it normally does. The cramps are greater, but I do think the diet has stemmed of some of the emotional PMS as well as the bloating.


Thursday, September 10, 2009

CD 28...the end is near

Gads...I hate this part of the cycle. I know my period is coming because the spotting came as expected, but still I hope that maybe it is a false sign. In the end you just want AF to come, so you can start a new month and a new cycle of hope.

I've added my new Conceive Online blog link. I am very excited to a be a part of that community. Writing is a passion of mine that I am trying to reignite, and I'm excited for the support.

Last night we attended a Family Building Options seminar at Stanford. It was a moving evening as people shared their stories. I will write more as I process the night. I honestly don't know where we will go if this next cycle doesn't work.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Home Stretch of the 2WW

We are on CD 25. If everything goes as it usually does, the spotting will start tonight or tomorrow. Then, we'll have our first indication that this month is just like any other. Until then, I am still in the hopeful phase. I dreamed last night about scheduling a 6 week ultra/sound. I very rarely dream about pregnancy. The last time I did was when we had our chemical with the IVF. However, there are no early symptoms, so my guess is that I'll be going to Oktoberfest with an empty mug--ready to be filled with delicious German beer.

Starting this week I will also have a regular blog on ConceiveOnline as their Over 40 blogger. As soon as it is up, I will post. I am not entirely sure yet about how the two blogs will interact with each other. My intention is still to make this one the more detailed cycle posting for friends and family.

Speaking of cycles, we decided to stick with our current clinic and as soon as we are back from vacation will start on the priming for a retrieval and transfer in November.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Hope is Refusal

This weekend I attended the memorial service of a very dear friend of mine. She was a woman who lived her life fully--even more than I knew prior to the service. Prior to the cancer, she battled infertility. She suffered through six miscarriages andwas about to start third party reproductive treatments when they found the cancer. With the cancer, it was never clear what the future looked like, so she opted to remain child-free.

What I found out at the service was that C was one of the key folks in leading the children's Sunday school. When speaking about it at the memorial service, the point was made that even though C was no longer with us, there were seeds of her in all the children she touched. Choosing to be child-free doesn't mean that you can't influence the future and have a legacy. In fact, it actually opens the door to potentially influencing more than one individual.

That said, we're still not ready to make that call yet. I am not a particularly religious person, but there was a line from Sunday's service that really struck me.

Hope is the refusal to accept the reading of reality which is
the majority opinion.-Walter Brueggemann

That line is truly the tagline for anyone over 40 who is on this quest. There are a lot of folks who will tell you it can't happen, but there are still a few out there who believe. I still believe.

Even in C's last battles this summer with cancer, she still understood my battles with infertility. She was the first to reach out when it was public knowledge that a good friend of ours was pregnant. She knew that even though I was happy that my just-turned 40 friend was pregnant, it was still tough news to swallow.

The best I can do to honor her is to continue my fight against infertility with the same grace and resilience she showed her whole life.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Please Ask for Help with Infertility Stress

I don't normally post my written audio blog, but I have excerpted my current audio blog because I think the topic is so important.

Yesterday there was an anonymous posting on an infertility board of which I participate on. My interpretation and the interpretation of twenty-two other women was that the writer had left her suicide note for all of us to read. The despair that had plagued her was tremendous. She lost a pregnancy at 16 weeks, was financially bankrupt and, clearly, emotionally spent. I am just an armchair psychologist at this point, but my guess is that she suffered from a post-partum depression that could have been magnified when she started to use fertility medications again.

Because she posted anonymously, we had no way to reach out to her except through posting. We posted the suicide prevention hotline number, we shared our stories, we begged her to just call somebody. It is the rare woman suffering from infertility who doesn’t have some dark days. As found on renowned mind-body expert, Alice Domar’s website, research has shown that the stress associated with fertility treatment can be at a level comparable to the stress associated with serious illness. Patients who seek emotional support early in treatment are often better prepared for their experiences and find it significantly less stressful than patients who do not.

If you are emotionally struggling with infertility, please seek out help. There are so many of us out here trying to help each other, sometimes in person, but most of the time virtually through chat groups, emails and twitter. You can even take an infertility stress test

I don’t know the ending to the story. We have all waited breathlessly today for anonymous to post again and tell us that she called for help. We haven’t heard a thing. We can only hope that she is with someone who is helping her as I speak.

If you or somebody you know is depressed because of infertility, please reach out to someone. Infertility may feel like the end of the world, but there is still so much more.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Filling the Void

Today's post is actually coming from Napa. It is too early to start tasting wine, so it is a great time to take a moment and ponder about this week's random thoughts. Even though infertility is a big part of my current mid-life crisis, I do think there is more to it.

Yesterday, I had a chance to meet Amelia Ceja, president of Ceja Vineyards. She is the woman we all strive to be--successful in her passions [food, wine, experiencing life]. She took my friend and I down a row of grapes, picking grapes from different places and readily identifying the flavors [kiwi, apple, tropical] and every grape she enjoyed and savored. She talked about the rivers and the importance of keeping the community strong. Every word was filled with her enthusiasm. This busy woman took an hour of out of her day to take two strangers into her world. I believe that often people come into your world for a reason. I think our visit to Ceja and to meet Amelia yesterday was to put the fire back into me for living a complete life.

As much as I want a child, having a child is not going to fill the passion void I am currently experiencing. As infertile women, I think we often fall into a trap of believing that the only thing that is going to make us ultimately happy is to have a child. But, that is so far from the truth. In order to be good parents, we need to be whole individuals--people who can be happy for themselves and not because of others. Yet, it is hard every day to do something besides think about how am I going to be able to have a child.

There is another gal I know who has also stepped off the career track to improve her fertility. She is also finding that being focused on infertility is not enough. She is looking for more purpose. Women have made great strides. Even as little as fifty years ago, it would have been rare for this conversation to be happening. Women were expected to only amuse themselves with interests as side dishes to their main job of having children. Today, we have the opportunity to be who we want to be as well as a mother.

My bottom line thought today for my infertile friends is to take a minute today and look past infertility. Think about what else you want in life to fill your spirit. Try to spend some time keeping yourself whole.

Now, time to start tasting more wine.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

CD 1 Starts tomorrow

I am like clockwork. It really is scary. I always have a 30 day cycle. Right on time, AF started to show up around 5pm and in infertility time that means tomorrow. So, we will officially start this process up again.

This coming month I have mixed feelings. We head to Oktoberfest in September. I know--Oktoberfest should be in October, but it is not. I would hate to find out I was pregnant and then get on a plane to Munich. Though, I would LOVE to have that problem. Given that there is a 1 in 25 chance of that happening, it looks like it will be IVF for us again this fall.

Right now I am checking out various clinics. I don't know what I am looking for. That's not true--I do know, I am looking for hope. I had a clinic do a wonderful job of explaining the last couple of years to me in baseball terms. I have been at bat and I have hit two foul balls. In baseball terms that would be two strikes. But, I am hitting the ball, and you just never know when that next hit is going to go out of the ball park.

So, we are going to keep hoping for that homerun.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Love my new phrase for the week

Yesterday, I saw someone posting about "preconception hypochondrias". I get it completely. I swear I had implantation cramping on Sunday. Today I am sure I have experienced the mythical implantation spotting. It is just amazing how easy we can dream up symptoms for ourselves.

Earlier in the week I was feeling optimistic that maybe this cycle would defy the odds. Put me in that lovely predicament of getting pregnant before going to Oktoberfest. Today, not so much, I simply have that feeling that I am having one of those freaky cycles. Normally I am a clockwork 30 days, with spotting on Day 25. You can turn a calendar to my cycles. I can't quite explain today's anomaly.

Mentally I am feeling stronger. It also helps that we have a plan in motion. Right now I am interviewing clinics to do another IVF round in the fall. I still may end up at our previous clinic, but I want to feel like I have done my due diligence this round.

I also feel better because I am exercising and eating better. I am almost a third of the way to my weight loss goal. Woohoo. That is, until I go to book club tonight, which is always good for a couple of pounds.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Couldn't Resist the Sticks

I couldn't quite leave this cycle entirely alone. I decided to do the OPKs this month to see where my cycle is after all the hormones last month. But, I am so confused. I am really not clear what day of the cycle I am on. Those first couple of days were so fuzzy and not clear. The surge happened sometime between yesterday am and today am. But, I just don't know if today is CD15 or CD16, according to my previous should be CD16, but that really is a late surge.

I can understand why my TCM folks say to forget the kits, they just make you more confused. All I know is that there has been plenty of BD this week, so we can only hope that my grandma's bd [today] is a lucky day. Hopefully, she is somewhere upstairs putting in a good word with the universe for me.

DH and I are headed off for a mini-vacation, which will have no discussion of IF. Time to simply go enjoy and be married.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

What Day Is It?

You can always tell when it is one of those in between cycles. I can't tell you what cycle day it is. I have to sit down with a calendar and really think about it. Last week was a bit of a blur. The let down after the medicated cycles is always greater than a natural cycle. It makes sense. You believe you have done all you can to optimize your chances and still nothing to show for it.

I felt horrible for a good friend of mine. She picked last week to call and tell me she was 4 1/2 months pregnant, which for a 40 year old is fantastic news. She's made it through all the hard hurdles. I was happy as I could be for her--but still playing in the back of my mind is why is it so easy for most people. Yet, for a chosen few, it is a tremendous struggle.

I just finished reading Eat, Pray, Love. I am a little late to the boat in reading it, I will admit. However, I believe that timing is essential in this universe. I needed to be in the right space to hear the messages in the book. I am not ready to run to an Ashram, but it got me thinking about how much I need to carve some time out to just have some mind space around this whole topic. As I could start to feel the low wave of depression starting to creep in, I decided to stop it this time. Instead, I picked up Alice Domar's Conquering Infertility and started doing some of the mind/body relaxation techniques. Plus, I put a call into my therapist from my previous bout of infertility a decade ago. I am sure that if I ever decide to run for office in the future, someone will find this blog and misconstrue my words. But, I believe we should be in a world where we are not afraid to admit that sometimes we need some help thinking things out.

And, that's where I am at....on cycle day 9.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Waiting for the Call

The call is going to come any moment now. It will tell me what I already know. Another cycle, another $5k that ended in nothing. I have already cried today. It started early this morning when the spotting and the cramps started to make their appearance.

I have promised that this time I will avoid the self-destructive behavior...just one martini, not three tonight! In fact, I am more interested in actually getting back to heavy duty workouts. After spending a day on closet organization this week and having to send to many items to either storage or donation because they are too tight, I am ready to get my pre-infertility shape back again. As much as I believe some the Chinese medicine theories about not overtaxing the body, I am ready to run again. I need the outlet of exertion as well as control. Control over something...because let me tell you, I feel like I have no control over infertility. Even though, in some way, I do. I can choose how many treatments or procedures we go through.

The choice I am making for the next couple of months is to step away for the assisted cycles. Go back to the old-fashioned way. When we get back from vacation, later this summer I plan to have a next step. It is not clear to me right now what that next step will be.

The call finally's officially a BFN cycle.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

3 More Days

of waiting, but the gloom is already starting to set in. I have officially joined the club of compulsive POAS folks. Today I am 12 dpo [days past ovulation] and there isn't any sign of something positive to come. In fact, my boobs, which had been rather sore, have started to return to normal. So I am preparing myself for the usual outcome on Tuesday.

My big dilemma will be what to do next if it is negative. I hadn't planned to cycle right afterwards, but with a vacation planned in September, if we don't do next month. We will then up taking a three-month break. And, of course, a three-month break that leads right into my 42nd birthday, which is not a good birthday in the infertility medical field. Can you hear the heavy sigh?

There's not much I can do. I have a friend here from college, so the best thing I can do is just enjoy her company and know what will be will be.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Almost Blastoff...

We are officially at CD 12. Another 8 shots of Follistim, one trigger shot, lots of herbs and acu, plus a ton of hope. I still have five follicles in the race. On Saturday, the ultrasound showed 2 still on the left at 16.5, 13. For the right, there were 14.5, 14 and 11.

We are trying to take some of the morning procedure stress away, so we are staying up in Palo Alto tonight. Plus, it makes it easy to celebrate my father-in-law's birthday up there. We'll have a more leisure morning, maybe breakfast at Il Fornaio, and by 11am, we will hopefully be on our way to a BFP. And thankfully, Auntie J is going to watch the four-legged kid tonight.

There won't be much more to report in the 2WW [except for the POAS obsession] beta is scheduled for Bastille Day [July 14 for the non-francophiles].

My acu reports that my stress levels and pulse are night and day from when I was working, so I can only hope this new lifestyle brings some luck my way. Let's face can only do so much.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Numbers for Day 7 U/S

We are on track so far this month. It looks to be three follies on the right and two follies on the left. The good news is that they are all currently between 9-12, so it is a nice even crop. For those who aren't familiar with growing follicles, you hope that they are all around the same size so when you feed them the drugs, they all stay together in an even pack that is ready and available when the "boys" are released to find them.

The stims this time, however, seem to be instantly causing weight gain and I feel bloated. But, I did make it to a fertility hiking group last night and that was good. It always helps to feel like you are not alone.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Deja Vu: The Same But Different

I went back and looked at my post for my Day 3 ultrasound in April. I literally could cut and paste it. I have a very happy right ovary that has 3-4 good sized follicles, but my left was only hosting one at the moment. I didn't get the sizes because I had a resident instead of my normal doctor who was out of the office. And, it was too early in the morning for me to think clearly and get the sizes from her. I think she'll ultimately be a good doctor. She seemed to have an honestly eager spirit about her. And, let's face it, we really need good "eggs" [forgive the pun] for this type of work.

Tonight we'll start up on Follistim 300 again. Though, we have directions to try and milk as much out of it as possible. Last time we got close to 400mg each time.

Right after the ultrasound, I whizzed down to Santa Clara for reproductive massage and acupuncture. I will repeat both next Tuesday, prior to the next ultrasound. The acu believes that the mere fact that I quit my job and I honestly look happy, instead of simply friendly and stressed, bodes well in my favor.

I spent a lot of time today trying to understand from all the professionals, what type of exercise could I continue to do. It seems that Pilates is less than ideal, so I am going to have to shelve that right now. Lots of yoga, walking, some weights and swimming. I am also thinking about joining a support group at Stanford that goes for a weekly hike. I think I have more issues around this whole thing than I have been willing to acknowledge.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Officiallly CD1

We're off and running again. The clock has started. Our first ultrasound appointment will be Saturday morning. That ultrasound will tell us whether or not this is a good month for a stimulated cycle.

Meanwhile, I am busy starting yoga and Pilates--working on the mind/body principles as well as the artificial means to achieving success. I am also trying to schedule an acu appointment, but Nurture Acu is starting to get busy and harder to schedule at last minute.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Going Off the Track

This is day two of my official hiatus on the career track. After working intensely for the last twenty years in high tech, I finally had to make the decision to put my health and well-being before my career success. Now I inherently know that life is more important than work, but for someone who has defined a large part of herself on career achievement, this was a tough choice.

I had to wrangle through the feelings of thinking that I have failed. I have failed as a woman because I can't do it all, which is the bill of goods I have been sold since the early commercials that sang "I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan and never let you forget your a man." Yet, what we as a society fail to do is encourage people to take time to pursue their dreams. And, unfortunately, most corporations are not set-up to enable folks restorative periods or the flexibility to do both. I have often heard people brag that they never took a two-week vacation---I just think that is sad. There are a few progressive corporations who offer sabbaticals. If I ever own a company, we will have sabbaticals.

Almost everyone at the office wished me well, and often, there was a slight expression of envy. When I went to the doctor today and my blood pressure was the lowest it has been in years [100/70], it was another confirmation that I had made the right decision. This break won't be forever, and I definitely plan to work again but right now I am really focusing on everything I can do to get my health and wellness back into balance. I ate more fruits and vegetables this morning than I had in a week. But, I had time to shop. I had time to prepare them. I had time to sit down and eat them. I did the happy dance.

When I knew that I was going on leave and would some day be looking for a job again, I debated on whether or not to go public with my fertility challenge. Obviously, I decided to go forward, but here were my reasons: 1) If someone wouldn't hire because of all this, then it wouldn't be a supportive environment going forward--not a place I would want to work. 2) As someone with a career in marketing, my ability to embrace new forms of marketing [social media] should be lauded. and 3) If they worried that I would get pregnant and leave them, then they didn't get to know me at all. Someone who is willing to go through all the pain and challenges to pursue a single goal is someone you want on your team.

Enough time on the computer, I am going out to smell the sunshine.

PS It is CD 30 and am waiting for AF.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

To Hope or not to Hope

Even though this technically is a month where I haven't focused on getting pregnant, we still tried. So I find myself on Day 23 still being optimistic that maybe we got lucky this month.

There were some very pointed discussions on one of my chat boards this week. Cruelty being the other face of hope. It doesn't matter how little you have invested in a particular month, there is always the looming disappointment ahead. I don't know how to cushion the blow. I can only take care of myself when the time comes.

Until that time, I will continue to check daily for symptoms and hope.

And, for this week's audio blog

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Getting Back in the Space

As you can tell from my lack of writing, I took a couple of weeks off from infertility. Though, my lack of diligence on my health in the last two weeks has resulted in my first cold in over a year. I attribute my good health to better eating, more sleep and acupuncture. None of which I did at the end of May.

Now that we are back from our mini vacations, I am ready to do something about my BMI, which seems to be slightly overweight these days. I start with a personal trainer tomorrow night, along with Pilates. Plus, all the Smores are out of my reach now. Between camping and my sister-in-law's house, the graham cracker/Hershey bar combo has added at least a pound or two to my waistline in the last week.

What's next? Basically we hope like crazy that maybe Clay and I got lucky this month. We certainly gave it our best shot without doing any monitoring. I just have my doubts that we are going to get there without medical intervention. If that doesn't work, we will do another injectables cycle with Stanford. That is scheduled to start roughly around June 18th.

My basic plan this summer is do one month on and one month off the drugs--enabling me to still do many of the things I enjoy doing in the off months.

Monday, May 18, 2009

On the bright side...

I get to play hockey tonight.

At the weekend camping trip, I can participate in the nightly happy hours that will include Martinis, MaiTais and Manhattans.

I have a month to get myself into super duper summer shape with my new athletic club membership.

The hardest part of a negative test today is finding the good in all of it. I just have to believe there's a reason why this month isn't it.

Time to go walk the dog and appreciate my four-legged kid.

Beta Day

This day always sucks. There is no other way to put it. No way to sugarcoat it. Maybe it would suck less if I didn't think I knew the answer. I cheated this time. I did the POAS [Pee on a Stick] and there was nothing there to tell me differently.

The odd part is that the acupuncturists really have believed there has been a pregnancy pulse. My worst fear is that there is going to be a low beta again...the almost pregnancy. In some ways, they are positive signs because most of the parts are working, yet there is something that doesn't close the deal.

I started this blog to offer encouragement and be helpful for others, but there are simply some days when you need help yourself. I really have to thank all the gals on my Over 40 board yesterday who were still holding out those last glimmers of hope for me. Tales of positive betas after negative home pregnancy tests {HPT}.

Stay tuned for the results later...I am done venting now.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

5 Days to Beta

I am getting anxious this last week. Having a hard time following my own advice about staying mindful and staying in the present. Even though I am in my final month at work, I still find that I am letting things tweak me out too much.

Deep breath.

I went to the acupuncturist yesterday. She said that my pulse was strong. For those unfamiliar with Chinese Medicine, your health is often gauged by your pulse and your tongue. She told me to remain optimistic and felt good about what she felt was going on. I'd like to believe I am super in tune with my body at this point, but I can't tell you that I am actually feeling anything, except really sore boobs. And, that is most likely from the lovely progesterone supplements. All I have to say is that there is nothing dignified about this process.

My beta is on Monday. Everyone just needs to keep their fingers and toes crossed until then.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Turkey Basting Time

156 million sperm, 8 Follistim shots, 3 ultrasounds and 1 trigger shot later, we are at the halfway point of this cycle. Today was turkey basting time.

Yesterday I could only hope that all those follicles did what they were supposed to do. When we checked on Thursday, the one on the left was a solid leading 16, and there were four on the right: 14, 12.5, and a couple of tens. You have to have faith that the doctor knows what he is doing, but I was skeptical that four days later, some of these guys are going to be big enough to do anything.

From today's look at things, everybody seemed to be coming to the party. My darling hubby did more than his part, cotributing lots of strong swimmers. It was totally bizarre to watch it on the ultrasound. After the procedure, you literally watch a see of white moving and going where it needs to.

Afterwards, I went to acupuncture and now officially start the two-week waiting period. During this time, I am evidently supposed to eat plenty of chicken and pineapple, and avoid heavy abdominal crunches for me--I'll just have to work on the summer time arms.

All in all, I am feeling as optimistic as I can be about our 5% chance of making things happen. We've done what we can for this cycle. I have reduced my stress level and improved my overall frame of mind.

It's in someone else's hands.

Monday, April 27, 2009

To Share With Family and Friends

Here's my audio blog. Take a listen to hear how you can help those trying to conceive and to hear a word of thanks for your support.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Start Your Engines

Time to bring out the big guns again. No surprise last month's cycle was a bust--why should it be different from any of the rest? Excluding last Dec's chemical, we have had 16 months of BFN [Big Fat Negative]. Though, this month I didn't seem to plunge into the usual gloom. I think it helps when you know that you have a plan for the next month.

We went for a Day 3 ultrasound today. It seems that my right ovary is happy and ready to party. There were 4 follicles: 10mm, 9mm, 7.5mm, 5mm. The reluctant left had a single 5mm. I was a bit disappointed that there were 3 less follicles than December but I was encouraged that they were robust and the doctor was pleased.

Tonight we'll start up on Follistim 300. The shots begin again. This time we are trying the super duper cartridge pen, so it might be easier than the mixing and the needles.

In addition to the stim drugs, I am keeping up with the acupuncture and massage. I went on Day 2 and will go again on Day 7. I will also be going back for another ultrasound on Day 7. The doctor actually believes I might be triggering sooner than I think if those little follies grow like they are supposed to.

This really is the easiest part of the cycle. You are starting up and you are filled with hope and promise that maybe this time it will work....we can only hope.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

You Never Know When It Strikes

As previously mentioned, we are now with a new clinic. They required a two-hour orientation today. I tried to get out of it. I feel like a veteran. What did I need with a two-hour dissertation on injections in the middle of the work day?

We checked in on the third floor. When it was time, the nurse asked us to use the stairs to go down to the second floor. It was on that walk downstairs that I simply wanted to cry. I felt sad for myself and I felt sad for the six other women and their partners who were there. Infertility is such a crappy condition and 80 percent of the population are fortunate enough to never experience it. But, that leaves the other twenty percent of us, navigating a wave of emotions that wash over you when you least expect it.

I still, two hours later, am fighting back the tears. There's no rationale reason for the tears. I should be happy that I have the resources to get help from one of the best medical facilities in the country. Infertility beats women down. It takes some of their life and soul from them. I started this blog to reverse that trend. Providing support and a friendly voice to others in hopes that they will come out on the other side, whole in spirit.

What I did get out of today's orientation is that maybe it is time to join a support group. As much as online support is terrific, there is something to be said for simply being with others who have the same experience and getting a chance to share your emotions. But, it is a tough balance. I don't want my life to be all about infertility and the pursuit of a baby. There is so much more. If we are always waiting for the destination, we aren't enjoying the ride.

Maybe it is time to go outside and appreciate the beauty of a spring day and the promise of greener horizons.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Infertility Overwhelm

I haven't been writing much, partially due to a much needed vacation [and for more on the need to take a vacation from fertility, listen to my Lexy Quikcast] and also because I have reached one of those moments when the choices in front of me are simply overwhelming.

I went for my third and different RE consultation prior to vacation. I don't know why it is a surprise, but alas there was a different opinion from the other two. To summarize the prior clinics:

Clinic A in San Ramon simply doesn't like patients over 40. They are unwilling to wreck their statistics for success unless you are ready to take the donor egg path. Else, they suggest acupuncture and wish you well.

Clinic B in Daly City was more helpful and felt that there was still a chance, provided a lot of factors were mitigated. By factors, I mean immune issues like blood clotting genes and NK cells. These are highly controversial topics amongst the RE community.

Which leads be to Clinic C in Palo Alto, painting a realistic picture the thought here is that IUI combined with injectables is just as viable as IVF. And, of course, all the immune issues are debunked.

So, what's a girl supposed to think, do...who does she believe? Infertility overwhelm is abundant right now.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Still in the 2WW but not hopeful

I did it. I did the POAS today [Day 28] and it was a big fat single line. However, at a consult later in the afternoon, the doctor said not to count that as it was too early. Dude--really, why would you give a gal such false hope?

My cycle follows a familiar pattern that usually begins with some spotting on Day 25. That has never happened when I have been successful. Because I am doubtful that this is the month, tonight I sit with pre-vacation toast. Since we are headed to the islands, it must be the fine taste of Oronoco Rum.

The consult with Stanford IVF deserves a long post, but that is going to have to wait until I come back from vacation. Aloha.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

7 More Days in the 2WW

In theory, if we were successful this month, the microscopic [and that is being generous] embryo should be quietly making itself a home right now in the inner caverns. I keep looking for signs but in reality the likelihood of signs is almost zero and none. I try to think back to my other two previous false starts and nothing comes to mind. The only symptom was the missed period. No implantation spotting. No sore boobs.

It was actually going through the IVF process this last time where you are definitely conscious of the changes in your body. It was then that I came to the conclusion that signs, except the one that comes on 'the stick,' are highly unlikely. It actually takes the body three days after implantation to secrete HCG, which is what is detected by the pregnancy tests.

And because I remain the pessimist in this endeavor, I had a MaiTai tonight. A week from today we'll be watching the sunset from Kauai and the 2WW will be over.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Keep Calm During the 2WW

The first post of the week is actually an audio blog that can be heard here:

Here my thoughts about trying to keep calm during the time of hope, aka the 2WW.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Keeping calm while trying to conceive

This marks the second day of my new hobby, trying to keep my online friends calm while trying to conceive.

I actually made my debut as a blogger earlier this week on Lexy.

Lexy is new and by checking them out now, you will be on the inside track. Lexy lets you listen to "quikcasts", which are bites of news and entertainment to fit your busy life. You can either listen on your PC or better yet on your mobile phone. And, the coolest feature they have added recently is the ability to audio blog and then distribute to your friends.

For those who don't know me, I am 41 and trying to have a baby with my wonderful husband of soon to be two years. I was married before and, unfortunately, experienced infertility the first time because my husband wasn't able to have kids. This time it appears to be all my fault. We miscarried in November 2007 and had a chemical pregnancy as a result of IVF in December 2008. My eggs are just not cooperating.

I'll tell you more as the weeks go on, but for now, if you are experiencing infertility, just know that there is someone online who knows the emotional upheaval that you live with every day.

Just remember today that the sun is shining somewhere.